If you haven’t already, you really must discover TED talks. This is a brilliant resource of videos from all over the place on all different topics by a myriad of experts. Not only is is brilliant for PD and personal interest videos but I can see myself using this more and more with students. Below is one by Sugata Mitra called “The child-driven education.” I bet you can guess why I clicked on that one!
I love the way he says “children will want to learn to do what they want to learn to do.” So simple and we know this already, but do we do it in reality? In the clip he shows, this seems to be partially because of the novelty of the medium used and partially because of what they are actually learning to do. I was also interested in seeing the children learn how to use the internet (which apparently they hadn’t heard of before this) without assistance. No teacher was sitting there instructing them on how to log on, how to access programs etc. I think we make an awful lot of excuses, especially at the junior end of school for not utilising technology because of children’s incompetence. This of course is untrue. Let children discover things for themselves and they will develop their problem solving skills alongside whatever learning intention you have in mind for them. Utilise what Sugata Mitra calls the “method of the grandmother”!!
Another point to note, I think, is the fact that the recall of what the children researched was high because, according to Sugata Mitra, the children were discussing this. I have long thought that the so called ideal of one to one devices was flawed for this very reason. Perhaps the real ideal ratio is 1:3?